What's the Ayers Rock Resort doing for us in Central Australia? Its number of visitors is pretty close to that of Alice Springs but, per head, the Ayers Rock Resort makes twice as much money out of them. Since the Indigenous Land Corporation bought the resort it has added a convention centre, a National Indigenous Training Academy, its Indigenous staff numbers have skyrocketed and by June there will be 32 flights a week. Is Alice Springs, far from still being the gateway to The Rock as Paul Everingham had intended it to be, facing a cashed-up competitor? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Tourism NT gives the resort prominence in its promotion of Central Australia.
When the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) bought the Ayers Rock Resort late last year there was not a single local Aboriginal employee working there – despite good intentions by the resort's previous owners and many training programs over the years. So it will be interesting to see if a new program, announced today by Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Mark Arbib, succeeds.
Like many before it, the focus is on training, this time to be delivered at the ILC’s newly established Indigenous Training Academy at Yulara, benefiting from a $4.9 million partnership with the Australian Government.
A 12 month traineeship program will recruit locally and from across Australia by offering competitive wages, help with relocation and costs of living, retention bonuses and a guaranteed job, either at the resort or in the hospitality and tourism industry.
All up the program is expected to create 350 new jobs at the resort and in the hospitality industry elsewhere. – Kieran Finnane
Photo: Filling empty resort beds with Aboriginal trainees?